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Saturday 4 September 2021

Brillo - The Ego Has Left The Building

There are few media myths more powerful than that surrounding former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil: the idea that he alone carried all those landmark interviews, those grillings of senior politicians, became all-pervading. It was also complete crap. What was true, however, was that Neil possessed, and possesses, an unfeasibly over-inflated ego.

This was routinely burnished by favourable publicity from his press pals, who in turn would join with the good and the great of broadcast media every year at the equally overhyped summer party organised by the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, of which Neil remains the chairman. Thus his respectability was confirmed, and maintained.

Sadly, as events have shown, this fa├žade has papered over a less munificent reality: Neil, whose BBC interviews were substantially down to thorough planning and preparation from an in-house team (although his ego was a key part of the final presentation), showed himself to be ill-prepared when someone pushed back, as happened when Owen Jones brought up the subject of the Speccy’s far-right flirtations on BBC This Week.

Worse, the idea that the Speccy’s summer parties made the magazine and its unappealing array of writers respectable is bunk: no amount of surface gloss can distract from the regular diet of bigotry, far-right hagiography and flat-out racism served up to readers. But when Neil left the Beeb, none of this was allowed to enter. And then came GB News.

The opening night of Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) had Neil front and centre. He was the elder statesman of news presentation and interviewing. By lending his imprimatur to proceedings, GB News would be respectable and trustworthy - providing viewers had not remained tuned in, to see Dan Wootton front the next show.

Neil lasted a fortnight, beset by technical problems not entirely unconnected to the channel launching prematurely. He was to have returned next Monday. But he won’t be coming, and the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has spelt out why. "Andrew Neil is expected to quit GB News … insiders now expect him to resign without returning to its airwaves … Mr Neil's return is now thought to be vanishingly unlikely to happen”.

My take is that Neil will haggle for a significant amount of money before agreeing to leave the scene, but once the price is right, he will be off. Why return to a channel which has now been reduced to having former Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage interviewing, er, Christopher Biggins? Or whose latest hire is mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott? To a channel that takes Ann Widdecombe seriously?

Conversely, why take Andrew Neil seriously? His time at the Murdoch Sunday Times included AIDS denialism, hiring a Holocaust denier (David Irving, no less), and the gratuitous libelling of Carmen Proetta as part of the press assault on Death On The Rock. He used his position at the BBC to push climate change denial, then participated in an on-screen junior shadow ministerial resignation which benefited the Tory Party.

Andrew Neil’s ego demanded one last hurrah, one demonstration that he was still strong. Instead, reality has intervened and what was left of his career now lies in ruins.

GB News might have been a Brillo idea, but it was not a particularly brill one. Sad, really.

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J said...

I hope the BBC don't take him back... he should rot in obscurity now he's spunked his own reputation up the wall of Gammon Bastard News,the News of the National Front.

Mr Larrington said...

Sad to say, when Gammon Broadcasting's backers get tired of throwing bad money after worse the horrible cunts who front the station will still find a ready berth on the panel of Question Time. In the meantime we can run a book on who'll be the next rat to board the sinking ship. My pick is Torygraph nutjob-in-residence Allison Pearson.

Anonymous said...

To repeat:

Let's not forget Neil was every bit as bad as MacFilth in peddling lies about the Hillsborough Disaster while "editor" (read: lackey) at the Murdoch Sunday Slimes.

To say nothing of employing cringing gobshites like Ian Jack to manufacture propaganda against the city of Liverpool.

Neil is a fraud, an empty fake, the worst kind of media coward. A piece of thoroughly evil detritus.

gillette said...

Great pic of the great man. I seem to remember him doing that when interviewing that fruit and nut case Alex Jones

Rosie said...

Spot on. This pompous self-regarding man has done so much damage to the country. He has a long history of brown-nosing to the right wing & powerful, starting of course with Murdoch. He sees himself a cut above journalists like Dacre, both socially and intellectually. But he is crude and insecure and harmful.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that Arqiva B mux gains a hole real soon.

Arnold said...

The end is nigh if the Brexpress is running headlines like this.

"GB News ratings: Latest scathing numbers as Andrew Neil poised to quit"

Anonymous said...

In Neil's case when the going gets tough the huff gets gone.

iMatt said...

GBN is a parody of a parody. Not even the writers of 'Drop the Dead Donkey', 'Alan Partridge' or 'KYTV' could come close to this crapfest.

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